ROSEOLA INFANTUM (Exanthem Subitum; Pseudorubella)
(Exanthem Subitum; Pseudorubella)
Roseola infantum is a common, contagious childhood disease characterized by a high fever and skin rash. The skin and central nervous system--including the brain, the coverings of the brain (meninges), and the spinal cord -- and peripheral nerves are involved. Roseola infantum affects infants and young children (1 to 3 years).
Appropriate health care includes:
Home care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSFever of 103F (39.4C) to 105F (40.6C) for 3 to 4 days.
Flat, reddish skin rash after 3 or 4 days of high fever. When the rash appears, fever and other symptoms disappear.
Unknown. Because roseola has many features of viral illness, it is commonly believed to be caused by a virus -- but the organism has not been identified. Incubation is 5 to 15 days.
RISK FACTORSSpring and autumn seasons.
Exposure to others in public places.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEYour child should avoid exposure to others with roseola, if possible.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies, such as urinalysis and blood counts, to rule out other reasons for your child's high fever, such as middle-ear infection, meningitis, pneumonia, or urinary-tract infection.
Convulsions caused by high fever.
Spontaneous recovery in 1 week.
HOME CARETry to reduce your child's fever if it reaches 102F (38.9C) or higher. See How to Reduce Your Child's Fever, Appendix 17.
MEDICATIONFor minor discomfort and to reduce fever, use non-prescription drugs such as acetaminophen.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your child should rest in bed until the fever disappears.
DIET & FLUIDS
Your child should eat a normal, well-balanced diet. Continue baby-vitamin supplements if the child is accustomed to taking them.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Fever exceeds 103F (38.4C) rectally.
Twitching or other signs of a convulsion begin.
The child refuses liquids.
The child cries loudly and persistently, and does not stop when picked up.
The child is listless and has a stiff neck.